Pittsburgh Pirates: Best Center Fielder?

Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

When we think about the MLB outfields, the Pittsburgh Pirates come to mind. Do they have the best outfield in the majors? Some people feel they do while others still want Gregory Polanco to do more.  I have already previewed the infield positions, but now I want to focus on center field.

I was always told growing up that center field is the most important position on the baseball field.  Well, the Pirates have one of the best in Andrew McCutchen.  McCutchen is coming off another stellar year in which he finished with 96 RBIs.  His home runs (23) were average, but his strikeouts (133) were the most of his career.  Most pitchers try to eliminate the Pirates best player with a lot of off-speed and inside pitches.  I look for the same this year out of Andrew.  He will have another MVP like season, but I want him to get over the hump and have 100 RBIs. He has never done that in his career! He needs to be productive early on for the Pirates if they want to have any success scoring runs.

In comparison to the rest of the National League Central center fielders, Pittsburgh wins the position.  Jason Heyward moving over from right to center field does make the position a little more competitive.  It seems that anybody who plays for Chicago can completely change the outcome of a game.  Heyward will have a good year, but I don’t think he will stand out as much as he did in St. Louis. Chicago has too many other good players that make the team so good.

The speedster Billy Hamilton will be stealing bases and running down balls for the Reds in center.  Randal Grichuk is penciled in as the starting centerfielder for the Cardinals. I don’t know a whole lot about him other than he is young.  He showed some potential last year and I look for him to have a successful full year under his belt.  With Milwaukee having a busy off season they have a lot of young talent. Domingo Santana has the nod right now to start in center for the Brewers. I think it will be a long season for the Brewers, but they still have some pieces that can keep this team together.

When we talk about bench players, a lot of people think the Pirates only have 3 outfielders.  Josh Harrison, Sean Rodriguez, John Jaso, and Jake Goebbert can all play the outfield. However, the Pirates have one of the best back up center fielders in the league: Starling Marte. Marte has filled in for McCutchen numerous times throughout his career. The Pirates have depth, but they also have three really good outfielders.

It seems the other teams in the division have younger players to fill in at center field. Most of these teams are going to rely heavily on the starter.  In terms of center field, I believe the Pirates have the best overall player. I am very excited and anxious to see the productivity from McCutchen this season!


Average: McCutchen, Heyward, Grichuk, Hamiliton, Santana

Home Runs: McCutchen, Grichuk, Heyward, Santana, Hamilition